Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Alpha Leaks: My Comments.

The WoW community has been buzzing about the leaked talents and spells from the friends and family alpha. And as any responsible blogger I feel the need to cover it. However, I feel the need to preface my comments, because I don’t think there is any reason to get excited about what has been leaked for a couple of reasons.

1. We have no have no real way to determine what is real and what is fake. Yes, Media outlets have confirmed that some of it is correct with sources, and yes, Blizzard did give it a lot of credibility by forcing said media outlets to take it off their fansites. However, we don’t now what was confirmed. It is possible that two or three out of twenty were correct and the rest is just hopeful suggestions.

2. We are in the Alpha. We still have a long way to go until release. Even if all of these changes and additions are a 100% real, the chances of them making it to the release in their current form is slim to none.

3. Before patch 2.4 some patch notes were leaked. Some of them made it into the patch. Some of them never saw the light of day again.

I am treating the leaked information as possibilities for discussion. More along the lines of is this good for moonkin or not. Here is what I think. Please feel free to respond to my comments. I would like to know what others think.

New Talents and Spells
Nature's Fury - Converts 2/4/6/8/10% of your bonus healing into bonus spell damage. In addition, your Wrath and Starfire spells have a 20/40/60/80/100% chance of applying the Nature's Fury debuff on the target. The Nature's Fury debuff increases Nature and Arcane damage done to the target by 2%. Lasts 10 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. – This seems to be two talents crammed together. Raiding moonkin have little or no +healing so the first half has no use for me but I could see where it would be helpful in PvP or a healer going Dreamstate. The second half is very interesting. This would improve my personal DPS along with any elemental Shaman and Arcane Mages. My main worry though is how many of those will w have in raid.

Starfall (Rank 1, Level 80, 866 mana, instant, 3 min cooldown) - You summon a flurry of stars from the sky on all targets within 30 yards of the caster, each doing 500 Arcane damage, and an additional 170 Arcane to all nearby targets within 10 yards. Maximum 20 stars. Lasts 10 sec. – I will admit that I am a little confused by this spell. It sounds like it does more damage quicker depending on how many people you have in the AoE. i.e. If you have 20 mobs in the area then they each take 500 from a Star then another +3000 from the splash of the other stars. If you only have 10 in the area then they each take 500 damage twice and splash damage over a longer period of time. A very interesting spell, but with a 3 minute cooldown it isn’t going to be all that useful in raiding.

Improved Moonkin Form - Your Moonkin Aura also causes affected targets to have a 33/66/100% chance to gain 100% spell haste when they critically hit with spells for 10 seconds. This effect cannot occur more than once every few seconds. – Maybe I am reading this wrong but there is no chance that this will make it to release in current form. 100% haste would make all spells instant cast and reduce the GCD for spells down to 1 second. This means you could spam 10 instant Starfires in 10 seconds. The damage would be godly but it would kill our threat and mana. It does provide an interesting idea though. I always liked the idea of receiving mana from crits but getting haste could be a good thing to.

Owlkin Frenzy - Attacks done to you while in Moonkin form have a 5/10/15% chance to cause you to go into a Frenzy, increasing your spell haste by 25% and increasing your damage by 10%. Lasts 10 sec. – A very reasonable talent that I think has a chance of making it to release. It would primarily be a PvP talent but may have some uses in PvE.

Eclipse - When you critically hit with Starfire, you have a 20/40/60% chance of increasing damage done by Wrath by 10%. When you critically hit with Wrath, you have a 20/40/60% chance of increasing your critical strike chance with Starfire by 10%. Effect lasts 12 sec. – I’m sorry but this is the dumbest suggestion I have ever seen. Switching back and forth between spells will make casting more complicated. It could also cause mana and DPS issued due to Wrath’s higher mana cost and lack of buffs.

Typhoon – You summon a violent Typhoon that does 745 Nature damage when in contact with hostile targets, slowing their movement speed by ?% If hit twice from the same typhoon the enemy will be knocked back 5 yards. Typhoon will travel 20 yards and last 8 seconds. – Has potential as an anti-melee PvP spell but I don’t see much use for it in PvE. Knock backs could have problems with pulling other mobs and I am sure that a lot of mobs will be immune to it. I also remember reading that it had a fairly long cooldown.

Gale Winds - Increases damage done by your Hurricane and Typhoon spells by 25/50%, and increases the range of your Cyclone spell by 10/20%. – What can I say? A talent that buffs two mediocre spells. Unless Hurricane is buffed and/or Typhoon has some use that I am missing, this talent will be skipped by most.

Master Shapeshifter – Grants an effect which lasts while the druid is within the respected shapeshift form. Bear form – Increases physical damage by 4%, Cat form – Increases Critical Strike chance by 4%, Moonkin Form – Increases Spell Damage by 4%. Tree form – Increases Healing by 4%. – Interesting possibility. Since I would go that far in to the resto tree for Intensity anyway, this is a good pick up as well.

I assume you know what the original talents and spells do. So I have only listed the changes.

Entangle Roots – Will now be castable indoors. – I like this change and have advocated for it for a while. Some non druids will hate this because it gives druids a viable instance CC, but I think they are over reacting. Entangle Roots is not like Sheep, Sap, or any of the other CC spells. All other CC completely takes the mob out of play. Entangle Roots only holds them in place. So CC a ranged class with it does nothing. I hope this makes it to release.

Hurricane – Cooldown removed. – Another good change that will help moonkin in those must AoE situations, but it is so mana intensive and unpowerful that it is not a huge change.

Improved Faerie Fire – Improves Spell Hit also now. - This would significantly improve its viability, but it isn’t hard for moonkin to hit cap. It is harder to hit cap for Mages and Warlocks but not unreasonable to expect it. I would assume that this change would have a greater impact on early raiding.

Nature’s Reach – Reduces threat by 30% - Frees up some points in the resto tree since we won’t have to pick up subtly anymore and it improves the over all threat reduction. Not a bad idea.

Brambles – Trents and thorns have a chance to daze for 3 sec. - This would probably make brambles viable for PvP. I don’t think it would help PvE at all though.

Dreamstate – Moved down a level. – Would help “Dreamstate” Healers use more points in the resto tree.

Imp MotW – Two points instead of 5 and increases affect by 40% instead of 35% - A nice improvement, but they need to really buff Mark of the Wild to make it a required buff.

Nature’s Focus – Moved down a level – No big deal. Just give you a way of advancing in the resto tree without putting points into a feral talent.

Subtlety - Moved down a level and only works on resto spells – Would have no impact on moonkin with the change to Nature’s Reach.

Toon Update:
Was a little bit of a ruff week for the guild. Due to the holiday and other things our groups were a little light this week and we didn't try Vashj or get any of the BT bosses down. I didn't raid much of at all because I had family in town. So there is nothing really knew to say about graylo. We did do Hyjal last night and the [Hammer of Judgement] did drop but I passed it to a Shadow Priest. Its not that big of a deal because there are only a few of us in the guild that would use it. I will get it soon. The only other thing Graylo did over the weekend was make bandages. A couple of posts ago showed you a way to make money off of First Aid. Well this weekend I made over 1000 bandages and probably made close to 100g.

Graypal: Ran Kara with him and got enough badges to pick up the [Carved Witch Doctor's Stick]. Most of the sites I have seen say this is the best DPS wand for quite a while. Not much to say other than that

Grayfel: He was pretty active this weekend. He is now level 51 and climbing fast. My goal is to have him to 70 by the end of August. His mining is doing pretty well also. It is now up to 250. The only nodes I can't mine now are the Rich Thorium Veins and I shouldn't have a problem getting them. As I have said before my main goal is to get his mining to 300 by the time he is in outland so that he can pick rocks there. With 9 levels to go I don't think it will be a big problem. Jewelcrafting on the other hand is lagging behind. I it is up to 200 now and I had to buy a bunch of Truesilver to get it there. I am almost positive that I am going to have to drop some cash at some point to power level it to 300. Once I am in outland I don't think it will be a huge problem.


Horns said...

Your Moonkin Aura also causes affected targets to have a 33/66/100% chance to gain 100% spell haste when they critically hit with spells for 10 seconds.

It's probably a tooltip error, it will give 100 spell haste which should be about 0.09% decrease in cast time for a 1.5 second Wrath.

Cdin said...

That sounds very reasonable at first. 100 Spell Haste for a level 70 moonkin would reduce casting times by about 6%. (I think you ment 0.09 Seconds in your Wrath Example)This is a very reasonable change that I wouldn't be suprised to see.

The problem is granting a flat 100 spell haste doesn't scale very well. The talent could be available as low as the low 40s when 100 Spell Haste has a much greater affect on the caster. At level 80 I am sure that we will need more than 15.7 spell haste to reduce cast times by 1%.

In short 100 spell haste doesn't make sense for a release because it won't scale well. However, I wouldn't at all be supprised to see a haste proc of 5% - 10% from a crit.

Phaelia said...

I think the Brambles change could end up being very good. Right now the damage is 200+ per hit and one can only assume that the dazed effect will give your tank even more additional threat to work with.

Cdin said...


The changes to Brambles that have been suggested would definately make it a more viable talent then it is now. However, I still see it as primarily a PvP talent.

The main reason I think this is because it is likely that most if not all bosses will be immune to the proc.

The 200+ damage per hit sounds like a bit much also. It would be awesome but this could seriously hurt melee classes, and shift the PvP balance.

Of course damage is completely relative. 200+ damage sounds great now but we don't know how much health WotLK mobs wil have.

Anyway, my opinion of brambles hasn't changed at all. However, I do think it is interesting how many Anti-melee pvp skills moonkin have been given in this leaked info. Between Brambles, Owlkin Frenzy and Typhoon, melee will get rocked.

Phaelia said...

Well, I think that Brambles is inherently better on non-boss pulls; the more mobs beating on the tank, the more AoE aggro he can generate. It will be particularly helpful to Bears and Warriors (Paladins don't really have any trouble establishing AoE aggro). You're right though: on bosses, the threat will likely be limited to its damage output.

Shivoa said...

Nature's Fury - Converts 2/4/6/8/10% of your bonus healing into bonus spell damage.

Please could you clear this up for me. When I first read this I took it as a flat 10% spell damage buff for any raiding moonkin. Surely all gear with +dam has an equal amount of +heal that this will affect.

The tooltips have always confused me as plenty of gear still has the old description of '+X spell damage' rather than the green text 'equip: increases damage and healing...' but my understanding was this had all been moved over to providing both. When I look at my character sheet it definitely seems to indicate my bonus healing is being calculated this way and so I'd expect this benefit to take that final +heal number and add 10% to my +dam (which wouldn't be massive but I wouldn't mind a free +100 dam from my mid-level 70 gear if the change comes through)

Cdin said...


I don't do a lot of 5 mans anymore and I usually have a pally tank when I do, so I generally don't think about them. So, I hadn't thought about having the stun for trash during a 5 man. I agree with you that this is a nice improvement on that front. However I still think it is primarily a PvP talent.

If theses leaks are real it seems like moonkin could be getting a lot of anti-melee pvp talents which would be very interesting.


Thanks for checking out my blog.

I hadn't really thought of it that way but you could be right. In which case this would be great talent. A flat 10 DPS increase and a stacking debuff would be very nice. However, this is very unofficial and what the talent actually does can be significantly different then what the tool tip says. I have seen it more than once where creates a spell or ability the way they intend it then discribe it incorrectly in the tool tip. Then they get lots of forum posts how a spell is bugged when it is not.

So who knows what blizzard intends to do with this talent.

As far as live tooltips go I think you can trust a vast majority of them. They have been reviewed by 10 million players and most of the inaccuracies have been worked out.

As a general rule Blues and above will be +damage and +healing. Greens will be just +damage.

Niennia said...

So many anti-melee, yet those are the one things my moonkin can handle in pvp. Some of them seem like a try it out and see how it works sort of deal, typhoon especially. Nevertheless, quite a few interesting things :)

Artorin said...

With the way haste works 100% haste would reduce the casting time by half not making an instant basically the formula is (newcastime)=(tooltip casttime)/1+(% spell haste * .01)
Though I agree it probably means spell haste because half cast times will still be way over powered especially if it activates on crits and last 10 seconds. As far as scaling it isn't really an issue since your lvl 40 also gets a flat 5% spell crit. The difference being at 70 you will be critting more often and so it activates more.

Cdin said...


Thanks for checking out my blog.

Your right. I new how Haste worked. I just saw how over powered it was and didn't think that much on how it would work.

My scaling arguement was ageanst it being a Tool Tip error. Horns suggested that they ment 100 spell Haste rating instead of 100% spell haste. If this was the case then the talent would have a much bigger impact at level 40 then at level 70 and level 80. Sure your going to crit less at 40 but don't think I am going to crit more at 80 then I do now.

Adding a flat stats like that doesn't scale well. It would be like giving a warrior 5 more strenght. At low levels it would be huge, but at max level it is minimal.

If this is a tooltip error than I expect the spell haste to be 10% instead of 100%

Artorin said...

I guess I see it differently, in that a spell haste increase is more of a percentage increase and scales perfectly with the rest of your abilites. No the amount doesn't increase but it doesn't have to. At 40 you will be casting more spells but at alot less damage since gear and spell base hasn't caught up. At 70 and 80 the % increase would be the same but it would equate to alot more damage since the gear and base damage does scale. Similar to say our talents that increase damage by 10%. This may seem like a flat amount but at 40 you may hit for 500 with starfire 10% would be 50 more then at 70 with a 2k starfire 10% is 200 more damage. This isn't the same as 5 str increase. Now a increase in haste rating for melee could be comparable. With that also you see a greater benefit at 70 with the same amount then you do at 40

Cdin said...


I think we are saying pretty much the same thing, but your missunderstanding my respons to another comment.

A percentage increase in Spell Haste does scale perfectly no matter what level you are. A level 40 gets the same casting speed increase that a level 70 and level 80 get. So on this point you and I agree.

Now, If you go and read the first comment on this post you will see that Horns suggested that this was a tool tip error and that blizzard ment 100 Spell Haste instead of 100% spell Haste.

100 points of Spell Haste would affect would affect a level 40 much differently then a level 70, because of the way stats scale.

For example, at level 60 you need 10 Spell haste to get 1% Spell Haste. At level 70 you need 15.7 spell haste to get the same 1% spell haste. If this was the way the talent worked then a level 60 moonkin would get 10% spell haste from Improved Moonkin form, but a level 70 would get only 6% and we have to assume that a level 80 would get even less.

So to sum it all up. I agree that as it is currently written it scales perfectly because it has the same affect no matter what the level. However, if it was Spell Haste Rating instead of Percent Spell Haste, as horns suggested, then it would not scale well.